It's what I like about Buddha

For a nice Catholic girl, I have a somewhat strange fondness for the Buddha.  I'm not really in love with Buddhism, as I don't find it an especially compelling philosophical cult (and I don't mean that pejoratively).  I do like the Buddha though.  That picture above is the Buddha that sits on my desk at work, reminding me to chill, to breathe, to take a moment and pray.

The Buddha got a lot of stuff right (yeah, he got a lot wrong too....I know).  He did recognize that suffering in our lives was inevitable, and that we are way too attached to things.  Learning how to let go of "stuff" in our lives - even emotional "stuff" - is a good way to avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering.  I don't believe we can get rid of all attachments - we humans are meant to be in relationship with each other, and it hurts when we lose those relationships, whether through a break-up, a relocation, a misunderstanding or death.  We shouldn't abandon each other just because of this, though, and that's where Buddha goes a bit far. 

Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you.

This is just the sort of thing that Buddha says that I can agree with, and it doesn't in any way conflict with my Catholic faith.  Thankfully, the Buddha never set himself up as a god, to be worshiped.  He knew he was just a guy looking for answers, and he thought he'd found some.  I admire that:  the humility he had, the longing for answers for hard questions, the simplicity of his message.

It's what I like about Buddha.


3 comments:

  1. Sorry, Elise, but statues of Buddha don't belong in the Catholic world...which one is it anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment, Richard. Why do you say that? I'm not praying to Buddha. If a Catholic you knew had a photo of Martin Luther King in their home, would you feel the same way?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elise - because it is a potential cause of scandal if your colleagues are misled into thinking that a Catholic has an affinity with a Heathen deity.
    A photograph of Martin Luther King is a different matter; he was not in any way a "God" figure.

    ReplyDelete

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